Category: The Most Holy Place



Jesus And The Cherubim

We have just completed a series of postings that addressed the Ark of the Covenant, which is one of the objects found inside the Most Holy place of the Tabernacle. We have investigated this topic in a quest to understand the meaning of a statement made by Jesus claiming to be “the Life”. Since the entrance to the Most Holy Place is called, “the Life, gaining a better understanding of it will help us to better understand His claim. We now expand our investigation by taking a look at the Golden Cherubim, which are artifacts found inside the Most Holy Place as well.

Cherubim are angelic beings which live in the spiritual realm, that always surround God. There is also an object that portrays these cherubim in the Most Holy Place. The representation of these angels covers the Ark of the Covenant. They are made of pure gold that has been hammered into shape by artisans. The presence of the Golden Cherubim symbolizes the Divine Presence of God in the Most Holy place.

There are two Golden Cherubs presented in the Most Holy place and they are positioned in such that they are facing each other above the Ark of the Covenant. The two Cherubim are created as a single piece, connected together at their base by a flat strip of gold called the Mercy Seat. The Mercy Seat is the precise spot over which the divine presence of God dwells.

Therefore there is a single Cherub on each side of the Mercy Seat and each is looking directly toward the place where God dwells. In addition, each Cherub has extended His wings in such a way that they completely hover over and protect the Mercy Seat and the space above it. This positioning represents the eternal watchfulness and ministry of these angels to God.

Jesus is surrounded by Angels

So if the prophesy of the Tabernacle is true, that it displays the attributes of the Christ to come, then there must be some evidence of Angels watching over and ministering to Jesus found in scripture.

What we are about to uncover is that there were angels supporting Jesus before He came to earth, while He was an infant and throughout His entire ministry. We will also find that angels will be active even at the time of His second coming. The following scriptures are used as examples to demonstrate the activity of Angles through out the life of Jesus.

Jesus is Protected by Angels at Birth

We start with the angel who announced to Mary that she was to be the mother of the Son of God:

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.” Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?” And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.”

We continue with another angelic scripture. In this one an angel announces the truth of Jesus and Mary to Joseph:

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)

Then there is the story of the wise men that are lead to the newly born Son of God by a star that is really an angel. The gift of Gold is most likely used to fund the trip to Egypt to escape the king who sought to kill Jesus. Joseph was warned by an angel that this danger was present:

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way. Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matthew 2:9-15)

Angels Minister to Jesus

Jesus was ministered to by angels several times during His ministry. One time occurred shortly after He had been tempted by the devil in the desert after fasting for 40 days:

Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’“ Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’“ Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’“ Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matthew 4:5- 11)

Another angelic visitation occurred when He was strengthened in the garden as He prayed just prior to His crucifixion:

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (Luke 22:41-4

Jesus’ Resurrection is Announced by Angels

Even Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is supported as an angel nullifies the army guard that was in place to ensure that the body of Jesus was not removed from the grave. In addition, they announce his resurrection and whereabouts such that there is no doubt about what happened to Him in the mind of His believers:

Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men. But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” (Matthew 28:1-7)

Jesus’ Angel Testifies of His Revelation to the Church

I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:16-17)

So, as we can see from the above scriptures that angels support Jesus’ ministry from beginning and forevermore. So it should be with us who uphold the ministry of Jesus Christ, the living tabernacle of God.

The Mercy Seat

We have introduced the Mercy Seat in our description of the Cherubim. The Mercy Seat resides in the Most Holy place in the Tabernacle. It is the flat gold strip of gold that connects the two Cherubs together at the base. Its significance is that the divine presence of God dwells directly over it, just below the wings of the Cherubim. It therefore, is the precise place from which God speaks with His people. It is also interesting to note that there is no figure or symbol for God in the Tabernacle and this is a testament of the invisible presence of God that requires no man made image or idol.


Jesus Is The Reward Of The Spirit Filled Warrior Nation

The rewards promised to Israel for taking the Promised Land are prophetic of the rewards we will receive for taking down the evil strongholds in spiritual warfare under the new covenant. To understand our spiritual rewards better we must first summarize the rewards promised to Israel.

Israel’s rewards included peace, prosperity and possession of the Promised Land and everything in it:

But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, (Deuteronomy 12:10)

In addition, God would abide with them in the land such that their offerings could be made:

Then there will be the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the LORD. (Deuteronomy 12:11)

They also received favor from the Lord that came in the form of the early rain as well as the latter rain for their crops. Through this rain they would then derive their new wine and their oil:

Then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. And I will send grass in your fields for your livestock, that you may eat and be filled. (Deuteronomy 11:14 – 15)

Again, these physical rewards are prophetic of our spiritual inheritance. In place of the land of Canaan the Christian Nation will enter into the New Jerusalem that will come down from heaven. The New Jerusalem is also referred to as the Lamb’s wife in the Bible. We will cover the New Jerusalem and the Lamb’s wife in greater detail later in this document. For now, suffice it to say that each true Christian is a component of the Bride. After Christ comes again, the Bride will become one with Jesus in marriage and as a result, Jesus will love and care for us as a perfect husband loves and cares for his wife. In addition, since Jesus is in the Father and the Father is in Him, then we will become one with God as well.

Until the time that Jesus comes for His Bride, she is to be working preparing the way for His return. This would be a similar mission to that of John the Baptist:

Then they said to him, “Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?” He said:I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Make straight the way of the LORD,” as the prophet Isaiah said. Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. (John 1:22 – 24)

The work that we do as members of the bride comes with the blessings of the Holy Spirit that empowers our work. The harvest of our grain is prophetic of the spiritual seeds that we sow and in turn, the spiritual fruit that we reap. Our new wine is the new covenant which is based on the shed blood of Jesus that is effective in setting us free from sin. Finally, our oil is the anointing of the Spirit that enables us to achieve His purpose.

This is the essence of the new covenant. We enter into it symbolically by eating the body and drinking the blood of Jesus as He taught us at the last supper:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:26 – 28)

However, this physical act of communion that we practice today is only symbolic of the transformation of our nature to that of Christ Jesus through the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is in eating His body and drinking His blood that we become like Him. In encouraging and fostering this transformation we must prepare ourselves, the bride of Christ, for the Bridegroom. We do this by carrying on the mission and the works that He did here on this earth:

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:6)

In addition, let us not forget that gifts and blessings come from God washed with the blood of Jesus. As we have discussed previously, we have open access to the Holy Place that brings with it the blessings of becoming enlightened to know our purpose, our mission and our direction. We can commune with the Father and are empowered to be victorious in spiritual warfare, which in turn brings safety, protection salvation and peace to the loved ones that we pray for. In this regard, we take up our cross and follow in His footsteps. We cling to the promises of God with all of our being and remain steadfast to our purpose, our dream and the mission that He created us to achieve.

All of this is to say that in Jesus we have a perfected Manna in that He sustains us as we walk in our desert place toward the fulfillment of the new covenant. This covenant will be fulfilled when the bride takes possession of the spiritual Promised Land, which is in heaven, and the bride is united in Christ Jesus and the two become one.


The Spiritual Duty Of The Warrior Nation

In the section entitled: “the Duty of the Warrior Nation”, which can be found in the posting; Jesus-and-the-Covenant, we get an interesting insight into what God expects of a warrior. In this posting you will find that God communicated the nation of Israel (via Moses), to utterly destroy the evil religion and the people who inhabited the Promised Land.

This message applies to Christians today, in the sense that we are all called into the spiritual battles of Jesus. There is a huge difference between our spiritual battles and the physical battles of Israel however. Israel’s warfare was physical because it required the destruction of people and property, while our warfare is spiritual in that it addresses the spiritual defeat of the forces of evil as well as their evil intentions for mankind. Let’s look at a scripture to reinforce this idea:

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him. But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem. And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village. (Luke 9:51 – 56)

In addition, Paul entices us to enter into spiritual warfare in this scripture:

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints; (Ephesians 6:10-18)

Additional information may require a review of the ten postings on our web site that start with the posting named Jesus-the-Golden-Altar-of-Incense. One thing that we did not cover there however was the savagery of spiritual warfare. The warfare of Israel taking the Promised Land by force is prophetic of our requirement to take the spiritual Promised Land (heaven) in a like manner. Both call for the total elimination of evil from the land. Again, here is a supporting scripture:

For this is he of whom it is written: ‘Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, Who will prepare Your way before You.’ Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist; but he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come. (Matthew 11:10 – 14)

Therefore, we are called on to utterly destroy the spiritual places where evil spirits serve their false gods. We are to destroy their Altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire: we are to cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names form those places, all in the spirit. These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the LORD God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the LORD your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the LORD your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. (Deuteronomy 12:1 – 5)

Please note that victory in the spirit will also bring victory here on earth as well.

We enter into spiritual battle because the Lords prayer instructs us to so as it states:

Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)

It is therefore God’s will that we become spiritual warriors and dispossess all evil from our Promised Land.

In our next posting we will take a look at the rewards of being a spirit filled warrior for God. Until then, may God’s blessings be upon you.


Jesus Prepares Us To Enter Into His Spirit

Jesus came to earth to prepare the world for entry into the spiritual Promised Land. He did this by giving us His life. The words that He spoke, the miracles that He performed and His promise of a helper that came in the form of the Holy Spirit, set the foundation for our entry into the promise of God.

The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Jesus that lives in us and we live in Him. His spirit empowers us. We will now present a few scriptures that support this proposition. The first scripture provides an example of Jesus preparing His disciples to continue His mission after He is gone. He leaves them the promise of the Holy Spirit who will be sent to them by the Father in His name:

If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. (John 14:14-21)

The next scripture communicates the story of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the disciples:

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs; we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, Whatever could this mean? Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.” But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams. And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; And they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above And signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke. (Acts 2:1-19)

From that day forward they were empowered through the Holy Spirit of God.

In addition, everything about Jesus’ preparation of the people was better that in the time of Moses. Jesus gave us a perfected law that was written on our hearts and that changed our character (see the section on Jesus-the-Brazen-Laver). We no longer blindly follow rules without understanding but rather change our hearts to become more like Jesus. He gave us a perfected priesthood that came with a perfect sacrifice and a perfect offering. Most importantly, He gave us more than a Pot of Manna to eat; He gave us His body to eat and his blood to drink in the new spiritual covenant (see Jesus-the-Table-of-Showbread and Applying-the-Attributes-of-Jesus-our-Table-of-Showbread).


Jesus Is The Spiritual Foundation Of The New Covenant

In our previous postings we have presented the background on the covenant promises of God and how Moses prepared the people to enter into the Promised Land in response to them. We have introduced these subjects to help you understand the significance of the items placed inside the Ark of the Covenant and in particular, the Pot of Manna. Its significance is that it symbolized the nation’s total dependence on God. This dependence was necessary to enable them to eliminate their sin, to know only good and to eliminate the knowledge of evil. Achieving these things enabled them to once again receive the promises of God.

In essence, God provided for them even when they did not deserve it. Through the intercession of Moses, God gave the nation another chance to enter into His promise as He purged them of their sin by allowing those who refused entry to die in the desert. The result was that those that were born during the thirty eight year journey through the wilderness learned to rely on God exclusively because they knew of noting else. They knew no evil.

We will be looking at the Most Holy Place, the Ark of the Covenant, the Pot of Manna and the other artifacts located inside the Ark as being prophetic of the coming Christ. One thing that we will determine is that all the items of the Tabernacle and the covenant were physical in nature. For example, the law dealt with how the people acted in this world. The people had to physically displace the immoral people that occupied the Promised Land. The promises given were for the land, rain, favor and peace from their enemies. The reward was that God would dwell with them in the land and that His presence inside the physical Tabernacle could be entered once a year by the high priest, who could make petitions for the people.

As we will soon find out, all of these physical things are prophetic of the spiritual promises that we have in the new covenant of Jesus Christ. For example, the new law has more to do with the changing of our hearts rather than simply following misunderstood rules. Our duty is to enter into spiritual warfare rather than physical warfare in defeating and eliminating the forces of evil from our spiritual Promised Land. Our promise is to live in the spirit forever, becoming one with Jesus, where there is no pain, sickness, hunger, death, crying or strife.

In our next posting we will take a spiritual look at each of these components of the new covenant.


Jesus Is The Way To The Promised Land

In our previous postings we have been discussing the Tabernacle of God and demonstrating the many ways that it is prophetic of the life and words of Jesus. One thing we have not yet discussed is how the Tabernacle came into being and what its final destination was to be. In short the Tabernacle was created in the dessert shortly after Moses and the nation of Israel left the bondage of Egypt. There destination was the Promised Land where they would be able to dwell with God in peace. This great story is communicated in the book of Deuteronomy and we will make an effort to give you the readers digest version here. In addition, our desire will be to communicate how Jesus is our way to the spiritual Promised Land of God.

The messages of Deuteronomy are the messages of a dying man who loved God and the people so much that he spent his dying days preparing their readiness to enter into the Promised Land. The book is a series of addresses designed to provide Israel with another chance to gain the lost promise of their forefathers. Moses greatest concern is that Israel would take up the idol worship and otherwise adopt the immorality of the existing culture.

Moses Prepares the People to Enter in

Now the time has come for the people to enter into the Promised Land. Moses, even though he could not enter in himself, speaks to the people on several occasions in an effort to prepare them for this mission.

He reminds them of how their forefathers refused to go into the land and of the tragic result of their disobedience. He reminds them that this disobedience resulted in their sound defeat by the Canaanites when they had decided to enter the land without God’s support:

Then Moses told these words to all the children of Israel, and the people mourned greatly. And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, “Here we are, and we will go up to the place which the LORD has promised, for we have sinned!” And Moses said, “Now why do you transgress the command of the LORD? For this will not succeed. Do not go up, lest you be defeated by your enemies, for the LORD is not among you. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword; because you have turned away from the LORD, the LORD will not be with you.” But they presumed to go up to the mountaintop; nevertheless, neither the ark of the covenant of the LORD nor Moses departed from the camp. Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who dwelt in that mountain came down and attacked them, and drove them back as far as Hormah. (Numbers 14:39 44)

In addition, He reminds them of their thirty eight year desert experience. Moses reminded them of all of the times that God had supported them in the past. He testified to God’s role in delivering the nation from the bondage of Egypt:

So Pharaoh rose in the night, he, all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt, for there was not a house where there was not one dead. Then he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise, go out from among my people, both you and the children of Israel. And go, serve the LORD as you have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as you have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians urged the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste. For they said, We shall all be dead. So the people took their dough before it was leavened, having their kneading bowls bound up in their clothes on their shoulders. Now the children of Israel had done according to the word of Moses, and they had asked from the Egyptians articles of silver, articles of gold, and clothing. And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they granted them what they requested. Thus they plundered the Egyptians. Then the children of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides children. A mixed multitude went up with them also, and flocks and herds; a great deal of livestock. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they had brought out of Egypt; for it was not leavened, because they were driven out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared provisions for themselves. Now the sojourn of the children of Israel who lived in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years; on that very same day; it came to pass that all the armies of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. (Exodus 12:30 – 41)

In addition, he references the victories that Israel had over nations to the east of Canaan that were also stronger than they were. He reminded them of how God had talked directly to them from the fire. Moses also reviews the Ten Commandments with them in detail and focuses on their need to love God above all else:

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

He reminds them that they are a chosen people of God. He reminds them of the blessings of obedience and their being healed of all the diseases of Egypt, He tells them that God will go before them into the battle and he reminds them of how He took care of them in the desert.

He also reminds them of their past rebellions, identifying the time when the nation made to golden calf to worship:

Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, Come, and make us gods that shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him. And Aaron said to them, Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me. So all the people broke off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. And he received the gold from their hand, and he fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made a molded calf. Then they said, This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt! So when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow is a feast to the LORD.” (Exodus 32:1 – 5)

Reminders of this type were provided to ensure that the nation was ready to enter into the Promised Land and that all would go well with them in the battle and occupation of the land. These teachings were the foundation necessary for success because they are the foundation upon which the covenant is based.

In our next posting we will look into how all of this relates to the life and words of Jesus. In addition, we will take a look at the implications of this story on our lives as Christians.


Jesus and the Covenant

To date we have presented the Tabernacle of Moses including many of its components, and correlated them to the life of Jesus. In doing so we have found that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Tabernacles prophesy in each and every case. What we have not yet addressed is information about the covenant, and more importantly actions the nation planed to take as a result of the covenant.

Based on all of this we are now ready to drill down on three major principles associated with the Most Holy Place. They are the Covenant Promise, the Duty of the Warrior Nation, and the Reward for living in Covenant. The following sections address these subjects in greater detail.    

The Covenant Promise

The covenant promise was an agreement between God and the nation. If the nation lived in accord with God’s law, then God promised that they would inhabit the land that He had promised to their fathers many years prior:

See, I have set the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to your fathers; to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; to give to them and their descendants after them. (Deuteronomy 1:8) 

The covenant promise of God also included the welfare of the people and their children, as well as long life:

You shall therefore keep His statutes and His commandments which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God is giving you for all time. (Deuteronomy 4:40)

The Duty of the Warrior Nation

Fundamentally, the duty of the warrior is to eliminate evil from the land. In reality, this duty is a part of the nation’s covenant responsibility. Here are the words of Moses to the people:

You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. (Deuteronomy 12:2-3)

So, while the Promised Land was given to them by God, the nation of Israel had to destroy the evil religious institutions that resided there in order to fulfill the promise. God would support a people who were totally devoted to Him and would not support a people who worshiped false gods.  

In addition, Moses told the people that unity is required for them to be successful:

You shall not at all do as we are doing here today; every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; (Deuteronomy 12:8)

In other words, individual effort was not enough. They had to work as a nation with a single cause to fulfill their destiny.

The Reward of the Warrior Nation

God’s reward for the warrior nation is rest from their enemies, safety, and most importantly, a place in the land where God will live with His people:

For as yet you have not come to the rest and the inheritance which the LORD your God is giving you. But when you cross over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the LORD your God is giving you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety, then there will be the place where the LORD your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the LORD. (Deuteronomy 12:9-11)

And the Tabernacle of God is the place in which God resides in the midst of the nation. It is the place of burnt offerings and sacrifices.

In addition, the reward we speak of includes God’s favor and abundance:

And it shall be that if you earnestly obey My commandments which I command you today, to love the LORD your God and serve Him with all your heart and with all your soul, then I will give you the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. (Deuteronomy 11:13-15)

 

Of course all of these things are prophetic of Jesus as well. He is the fulfillment and perfection of all of these things, as we will present in more detail in our next posting.

Until then, may God bless every one of you.


Jesus is Our Covenant Provision

The subject of Jesus being our perfected Pot of Manna suggests that Jesus is our covenant provision. However, to completely understand the significance of this we must also understand the circumstances that led up to the Pot of Manna being stored in the Ark of the Covenant in the first place. The following questions must be answered; what made the Pot of Manna so precious that it was stored inside the Ark of the Covenant? Why was it stored there along with the covenant stones upon which God’s laws were recorded, and why was it stored there next to the Rod of Aaron which designated God’s choice for the royal priesthood? To address these questions we present a deeper investigation into the Pot of Manna and in the process, uncover Jesus as our new covenant provision.

We introduced the Pot of Manna in a previous posting and reported that it was symbolic of God’s provision for His people’s needs as they wondered through the wilderness. What we have not covered is why they had to wonder in the wilderness for thirty eight years in the first place. The reason is because they had refused to enter into the Promised Land[i] as God had commanded them. As a result, God was angry with them and swore that the people who refused to fight for His promise would not see it[ii]. Their wondering through the wilderness gave the next generation[iii] the time necessary to enable them to mature so that they could eventually enter into the Promised Land. In addition, the forty years of wondering was the time necessary for all who refused to enter to die. In this way the sin of the nation was purged[iv] and a new nation was raised up that would learn to trust in God totally.

As there is not any protection from the harsh conditions in the desert, the new generation had to learn depend completely on God for everything. This included the basic items of food, water, clothing shelter and protection from the elements. It is in this journey through the wilderness that the Pot of Manna gains significance as God’s provision to the people who would enter into the Promised Land.

As always, supporting information can be found in the Bible. An account of Israel’s final preparation for entering the Promised Land can be found in the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Key points and supporting material have been abstracted and reported in the following paragraphs to give a deeper insight into what transpired and answer the question we have about the Pot of Manna.

The Journey to the Promised Land

The book of Deuteronomy reflects the last 60 days of Moses life. The background to the book is that the nation has spent the past 38 years wondering through the wilderness[v] after having refused to enter into the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy we learn about how Moses prepared the people to enter into God’s Promised Land the second time around. So, this was an extremely pivotal time for the nation of Israel.

By the time of the story of Deuteronomy, Moses was 120 years old. In addition, God tells Moses that He will not allow him to enter[vi] into the Promised Land either. As a result his actions are the final undertakings of his life on this earth. The nation will enter into God’s promise and Moses will be left behind.

The stark reality was that all of those who had previously refused to enter into the Promised Land had already died in the desert[vii] and only their offspring remained. The exceptions were limited to Moses, Caleb and Joshua[viii]. Caleb and Joshua were the only two men who had favored entering[ix] the land the first time around, and as a result were chosen to lead the new nation on its second attempt.

One observation that should be noted is that the nation entering into the Promised Land was a new nation. The people of this nation never knew the bonds of their slavery in the land of Egypt. They also never saw the power of their God bring their deliverance from the evil of Egypt either. The new nation was born in the desert and as such, they grew up knowing only total dependence on God. They grew up knowing the cloud of God that protected them from the burning sun in the daytime, and the fire that illuminated their journey at night[x]. They wore the same clothes and shoes for thirty eight years as they never wore out[xi]. They drank water that sprang up from the rocks that Moses struck with his staff[xii] and they ate the Manna that was found on the ground each morning, which was the bread of life that came down from heaven:

And the house of Israel called its name Manna. And it was like white coriander seed, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey. Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD has commanded: ‘Fill an omer with it, to be kept for your generations, that they may see the bread with which I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.’“ And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a pot and put an omer of manna in it, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations.” As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. And the children of Israel ate manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan. (Exodus 16:31 – 35)

So this is how the Pot of Manna came to be stored in the Ark of the Covenant. God commanded it be saved there so that future generations would remember how He provided for them in the wilderness.

One of the questions that we posed when we started this section was; why was the Pot of Manna stored in the Ark of the Covenant along with the Covenant Stones and the Rod of Aaron. The answer is that the Pot of Manna is a part of God’s covenant. The people of Israel promised to honor God’s law and in return He would dwell with them in a land flowing in milk and honey, which is the Promised Land. God’s dwelling place was the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle which the people carried with them in their journey. Since the Tabernacle was made by men it required the services of priests for its care and upkeep. These priests also ensured that there were adequate sacrifices for the forgiveness of the sins of the people, enabling them to move closer to God along their journey. Hence the Rod of Aaron is stored inside the Ark.

The Pot of Manna is symbolic of God’s provision along the journey that leads to His promise. It is symbolic of His provision of food that fell from heaven every morning and became the sustenance of survival. It is also symbolic of the water that flowed from the rocks in the midst of the desert and the clouds that protected the people from the burning sun in the day as well as the fire that illuminated their pathway at night. It is symbolic of all of God’s provisions to a people who are dedicated to realizing the promises of God’s covenant. To those who are steadfast on the journey and are willing to see the former worldly man pass away and be replaced with a spiritual man who knows only total dependence upon God.

Jesus is the Ark of the new covenant as He has sacrificed His body and blood on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. This sacrifice is foundational to the new covenant as it enables us to move closer to God through Jesus. His sacrifice ensures that each one of us can move through the wilderness found in our own life and engage in a journey to the Promised Land in heaven. A journey where our hearts of stone are changed to hearts of flesh filled with compassion. A journey in which our dependence on the world is replaced by total reliance on Him. A journey where we come to know God and see Him face to face in the Promised Land, a land where our every need is satisfied.  Then we will know the promise of His perfect provision.


[i] Numbers 14:3 – 4  Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?”  So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.”

[ii] Numbers 14:22 – 23  because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it.

[iii] Numbers 14:31 – 33  But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.

[iv] Numbers 14:35  ‘I the LORD have spoken this; I will surely do so to all this evil congregation who are gathered together against Me. In this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die.’

[v] Deuteronomy 2:14  And the time we took to come from Kadesh Barnea until we crossed over the Valley of the Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war was consumed from the midst of the camp, just as the LORD had sworn to them.

[vi] Deuteronomy 1:37  The LORD was also angry with me for your sakes, saying, ‘Even you shall not go in there;

[vii] Deuteronomy 2:14  And the time we took to come from Kadesh Barnea until we crossed over the Valley of the Zered was thirty-eight years, until all the generation of the men of war was consumed from the midst of the camp, just as the LORD had sworn to them. For indeed the hand of the LORD was against them, to destroy them from the midst of the camp until they were consumed. So it was, when all the men of war had finally perished from among the people, that the LORD spoke to me, saying:  ‘This day you are to cross over at Ar, the boundary of Moab.

[viii] Deuteronomy 1:29 – 39  Then I said to you, ‘Do not be terrified, or afraid of them. The LORD your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you, according to all He did for you in Egypt before your eyes,  and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a man carries his son, in all the way that you went until you came to this place.’  Yet, for all that, you did not believe the LORD your God,  who went in the way before you to search out a place for you to pitch your tents, to show you the way you should go, in the fire by night and in the cloud by day. And the LORD heard the sound of your words, and was angry, and took an oath, saying, Surely not one of these men of this evil generation shall see that good land of which I swore to give to your fathers, except Caleb the son of Jephunneh; he shall see it, and to him and his children I am giving the land on which he walked, because he wholly followed the LORD.’  The LORD was also angry with me for your sakes, saying, ‘Even you shall not go in there; Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there. Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it. Moreover your little ones and your children, who you say will be victims, who today have no knowledge of good and evil, they shall go in there; to them I will give it, and they shall possess it.

[ix] Numbers 14:36 – 38  Now the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land, who returned and made all the congregation complain against him by bringing a bad report of the land, those very men who brought the evil report about the land, died by the plague before the LORD. But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh remained alive, of the men who went to spy out the land.

[x] Exodus 13:21 – 22  And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night. He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day or the pillar of fire by night from before the people.

[xi] Deuteronomy 8:2 -4  And you shall remember that the LORD your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD. Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years.

[xii] Numbers  20:11  Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.


The Cross of Jesus is the Rod of Aaron

The second item found in the Ark of the Covenant is Aaron’s rod, which is a symbol of God’s choice of Aaron to perform the covenant duties of the priesthood. We will now presenting a case that Jesus is God’s choice for the royal priesthood of the new covenant. Jesus, being God’s son can perfectly perform the duties of High Priest and as a result He ends the reliance on the continuous sacrifices of the previous covenant.  

In a previous posting we presented a scripture that communicated how Aaron’s rod came to be stored in the Ark of the Covenant. It was a result of Aaron being challenge by the other tribes of Israel for his right to perform priestly duties. To settle the challenge each tribe provided Moses with a wooden rod to represent their tribe. Moses then gathered them and placed them before God in the Holy of Holies. When Moses returned the next day to retrieve them he found that the rod of Aaron blossomed and produced almonds while the others did not. This was God’s sign to God’s people that He wanted Aaron to be His High priest. Eventually, Aaron’s rod was placed inside the Ark of the Covenant as a memorial to God’s selection for the priesthood.  

At this point you may be wondering how Aaron’s rod correlates to Jesus. In this case the cross of Jesus is the fulfillment of Aaron’s rod, and therefore we could say that Aaron’s rod is prophetic of the coming of Jesus. The cross that Jesus suffered and died on, bore the most perfect gift that could ever be given, which is the body and blood of God’s only begotten Son. His body and blood were given for the forgiveness of our sins and this gift has blossomed and born much fruit through out he history of Chritianity. 

To go back a bit however, the forgiveness of the sins of the people was a function of the High priest. One the one hand the priest would slaughter the lamb and offer its body to be burned upon the Brazen Laver for the forgiveness of the sins of each family. On the other hand only the High priest could enter the Holy of Holies once each year for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 

Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services. But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing. (Hebrews 9:6-8)

Therefore, forgiveness of sins committed in ignorance was a duty that could only be performed by the High priest, and then only with sacrificial blood. So this is exactly what Jesus, our High priest did for us on the cross. He came as the High priest, the sacrifice and the blood, and His sacrifice was made on His cross. 

This cross then became the symbol of all Christianity. It has blossomed and has born fruit abundantly in that hundreds of millions of people all over the world have come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. It is in this manner that the cross of Jesus is the fulfillment of Aaron’s rod.

The fact that Jesus is God’s chosen High priest is further substantiated by the prophets foretelling that there would be a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. We plan to present this topic in our next posting. 


Jesus Is The Fulfillment Of The Law

 

The most important items in the Ark of the Covenant are the stone tablets upon which the Ten Commandments are written. This law was presented to the people of Israel by Moses and since has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who came not to destroy the law but rather to make it perfect. The following scripture reinforces this point:

 

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:17-18)

 

Jesus teaches us that the law came to enable us to change our hearts based on an understanding of the things that are offensive to God. This is far superior to blindly following rules without conviction and hoping that God will see us as a righteous people because of it. God gave us the law so that we would change our nature and in doing so no longer desire evil but rather the presence of God in our lives. Paul correctly describes this condition in some of his disciples when he wrote:

 

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. (2 Corinthians 3:2)

 

Therefore in Jesus, the law (the Ten Commandments written on stone tablets) is perfected because He extends the law to the condition of our heart. Therefore, in accepting Jesus as our Savior and earnestly seeking to be like Him through the power of the Holy Spirit, our hearts are changed, which means that we have adopted a higher standard. We have adopted a standard that not only eliminates the physical act of sinning but also eliminates the desire to do evil as well. Here is an example that demonstrates this point:

 

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment. But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:20-30)

 

Jesus fulfilled the law that was at first written on stone tablets, through the love and compassion that is instilled into the hearts of men by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through this teaching we understand that looking at a woman with lust in our hearts is also adultery. Simply refraining from the act itself is insufficient as it is our heart that must be changed. Jesus replaced blind obedience to the law with real change in the character and nature of men that no longer blindly follow rules of acceptable conduct, but rather, through the conforming of their hearts to the nature of God:

 

This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them, then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” (Hebrews 10:16-17)

 

In this regard, we are conformed to be like Him.